Man Ray (Emanuel Radnitsky)
[Artist, b. 1890, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, d. 1976, Paris.]

 Of course, there will always be those who look only at technique, who ask “how,” while others of a more curious nature will ask “why.” Personally, I have always preferred inspiration to information. 

William Klein
[Photographer, b. 1928, New York, lives in Paris.]

 I didn’t relate to European photography. It was too poetic and anecdotal for me... The kinetic quality of New York, the kids, dirt, madness—I tried to find a photographic style that would come close to it. So I would be grainy and contrasted and black. I’d crop, blur, play with the negatives. I didn’t see clean technique being right for New York. I could imagine my pictures lying in the gutter like the New York Daily News. 

Berenice Abbott
[Photographer, writer, teacher, b. 1898, Springfield, Ohio, d. 1991, Monson, Maine.]

 What we need of equipment is this: let it possess as good a structure as the real-life content that surrounds us. We need more simplifications to free us for seeing. 

Sally Mann
[Photographer, b. 1951, Lexington, Virginia, lives in Lexington.]

 The hardest part is setting the camera on the tripod, or making the decision to bring the camera out of the car, or just raising the camera to your face, believing, by those actions, that whatever you find before you, whatever you find there, is going to be good. 

Alfred Stieglitz
[Photographer and curator, b. 1864, Hoboken, New Jersey, d. 1946, New York.]

 Technically perfect, pictorially rotten. (Stieglitz’s standard comment on photographs he rejected for publication in The American Amateur Photographer.) 

Robert Doisneau
[Photographer, b. 1912, Gentilly, Val-de-Marne, France, d. 1994, Montrouge, France.]

 If I knew how to take a good photograph, I’d do it every time. 

Joel Sternfeld
[Photographer, b. 1944, New York, lives in New York.]

 Some of the people who are now manipulating photos, such as Andreas Gursky, make the argument—rightly—that the “straight” photographs of the 1940s and 50s were no such thing. Ansel Adams would slap a red filter on his lens, then spend three days burning and dodging in the dark room, making his prints. That’s a manipulation. Even the photographs of Henri Cartier-Bresson, with all due respect to him, are notoriously burned and dodged. 

Garry Winogrand
[Photographer, b. 1928, New York, d. 1984, Tijuana, Mexico.]

 A photographer’s responsible for two things. Once you put your body where you want it to be, what’s in the frame and when you snap the shutter. That’s what the photographer does. The camera does the rest. 
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